Full project name

FIT FOR MARKET - Strengthening competitiveness and sustainability of the ACP horticultural sector

Funding (financial partners)

  • European Union (80%)
  • Other funding being mobilised 


25 million euros


2016 - 2020


The overall goal is to alleviate poverty, improve food security and food safety, and secure sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the agri-food export sector in ACP countries.

The specific objective is to allow smallholder farmers, producer groups, farmer organisations, and small and medium enterprises, to access international and domestic fruit and vegetable markets by complying with the SPS standards and market requirements, in a sustainable framework.


Direct beneficiaries

Targeted operators

  • MSMEs in the fruit and vegetable industry (including brokers/intermediary small growers and transporters related to the value chain in formal markets)
  • Groups of farmers/cooperatives
  • Small growers linked to formal markets

Support services

  • Consultants and consulting firms
  • Farmer organisations/associations of producers
  • Trade associations
  • Training centres (technical and educational institutions, universities)
  • Certification bodies, auditors
  • Structures offering support to small producers such as NGOs, public and private extension services, local support programmes for small producers, etc.
  • National or regional technical working groups

Authorities responsible for inspection and control services/Platforms of public and private stakeholders

Indirect beneficiaries

  • Local and European buyers (importers, wholesalers, retailers) 
  • Local and European consumers
  • Rural communities

Target Countries

ACP countries

Short presentation

The project is part of the intra-ACP indicative programme (2014-2020) relating to cooperation between the European Union and the ACP Group of States (11th EDF funding). It enters within the scope of intervention of mid- and long-term support to policies to build production capacity, inspire innovation and improve the viability and competitiveness of the private sector.

Sustainable intensification is the main focus of the programme’s action since the aim is to increase production while minimising negative impacts on the climate, ecosystems and the productive environment. It also addresses the social and economic dimensions of sustainability, including livelihoods, economic sustainability, social justice and inclusiveness. Special emphasis is put on the participation of small growers, youth and women, who are often disadvantaged by the changes taking place in local and global supply chains, and who often have more to gain from improvements in conditions of production, employment and trade.

Key deliverables:

R.1. The capacities of small growers, producer groups and farmers’ organisations and SMEs in the fruit and vegetable sector to access local and international markets are reinforced through compliance with SPS standards and other market requirements.

R.2. Small growers, producer groups and farmers’ organisations and SMEs in the fruit and vegetable sector have the skills and the tools to be effective, efficient and inclusive.

R.3. The links between the small growers, producer groups and farmers’ organisations and SMEs in the fruit and vegetable sector are strengthened.

R.4. The market access conditions and competitiveness in the ACP fruit and vegetable value chains is monitored and the ACP interests are represented.

R.5. The competent authorities have an increased capacity to support the fruit and vegetable sector, by ensuring the management and implementation of the SPS standards.